Minimalism vs Maximalism in Graphic Design

What is the difference between minimalism and maximalism within graphic design? They are completely different yet both can still be used extremely effectively. Both have pros and cons, it is up to you to decide which will work best for your branding. To understand which will work best for your business first you need to know your audience as it needs to resonate with them. In essence, they both explain what it is within their name; Minimalism is only using the minimal amount you actually need, a key saying with minimalism is ‘less is more’ this is a good way to let your product do the talking. Maximalism is filling every space with something; maybe colour, graphics, or images it can feel very busy, but both can work for your brand. 

One of the key differences between minimalism and maximalism is using space. For a minimal design having empty space is key by using icons which are only necessary it removes a lot of unnecessary design elements (for your brand) however a maximalist design needs to fill space, as more is more. Both can be extremely effective when used right. 

Minimalism vs Maximalism in Graphic Design


Many brands such as Apple, Ikea, and Uniqlo use the minimal design extremely well and all industry leaders, with their clean and sleek look they have used the minimal look to resonate with a larger audience. Minimalism has grown massively recently and is more widely known than its counterpart. A growing number of people are preferring the minimal style and many use it as a lifestyle; only using what you need. Everything is on show with minimalism as there isn’t too much to show off, this is why greater care must go into designing the branding and logo. Subtle changes are more obvious to spot and are normally easier. 


Maximal design is usually used for brands when they want to cater to a certain niche within an industry. Creativity can really flow with maximalism and when done right is hard to replicate, this is amazing when you want unique branding and want to stand out from the minimal counterparts. You need to know your industry; if everyone is using maximal branding it will be harder to stand out whilst using maximalism, the key is to know your market and your audience. 


In conclusion, UX should not be affected negatively by using either of the styles. Both can be effective and be a breath of fresh air in your market. Ensure you are doing market research and see if you will stand out from the crowd, this is arguably the most important thing you can do before starting your design. Your goal should be to stand out, to grow your customer base and following. In 2020 more likely than not you need an online presence so your design, minimal or maximal, needs to fit the demand your product/ brand needs. Minimalism is more popular and is still growing than maximalism, maybe in the future, the online world can be a more interesting place with fancy graphics invoking a sense of fantasy.